It’s Friday in Dublin. 20 degrees, not a cloud in the sky. It’s the perfect day to enjoy outside, except it’s not. It is the 20th of September, has Dublin always been so hot during Autumn? The climate strike is starting soon.
Thousands of people are gathering at noon. “What do we want?” “Climate action!” “When do we want it?” “NOW!” children are heard chanting, they are still wearing their uniforms. Families with babies, people with dogs, non-profit organizations, activists, school children, college students, nurses, elder people. Everyone is there.
At the rally adults apology for their generation, children question authorities: ‘Did you know the words ‘global warming’ and ‘hypocrisy’ when you were 10 years old?’ They are all gathering with one motivation: be heard. At 13:49 all alarms are set and a minute of silence is taken for the Earth.
People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has deemed Leo Varadkar’s policy of being hypocritical. Why was her party giving out leaflets at the protest, then? It’s not just about the hypocrisy of the government, but also that of the people demanding change. Smith states ‘the problem is systemic, not individual’, is it enough then to go to a couple of protests and complain about the government, meanwhile not changing individual habits?
Eva O’Connor and Hildegard Ryan’s play ‘Afloat’ explored this issue at this month’s Fringe Festival. Who is to blame? What can we do about it? We better figure this out before it’s too late.